Edward Ryan, the 23rd
circuit clerk of Sangamon County, was born in
Springfield, IL to Daniel and Kate Walsh Ryan. In
1930, Ryan wed Evelyn Cline; the union resulted in 4
children and later, 17 grandchildren. Ryan was
a devoted and hardworking member of the Springfield
Police Department from 1942-1965, where he held the
position of Assistant Chief of Police. Ryan
was elected Sangamon County Sheriff in 1966 and
served in this position until 1970.
In 1972, Ryan was elected as
circuit clerk, an occupation he filled for the next
8 years. Active in the community, Ryan was a
member of the Blessed Sacrament Church, KC Council
364, the Lions Club, the Police Benevolent
Association, and the Fraternal Order of the Police.
While with the Springfield
Police Department, Ryan served as patrolman,
uniformed desk sergeant, patrol sergeant, detective,
lieutenant of detectives, chief of detectives, and
assistant chief of police.
Ryan’s time as Sangamon
County Sheriff brought along a few changes, two of
which being the addition of a Sheriff’s Posse and a
Sheriff’s Patrol. The posse consisted of nine
mounted men working on horseback to help preserve
the law. The Sheriff’s Patrol was in charge of
covering 850 square miles of area and included 24
deputies. These two additions were for
volunteers only and were a great help to the Sheriff
at no expense to tax-payers.
The Springfield Sun, July
9, 1967. Accessed August 10, 2011. Sangamon Valley
Collection, Lincoln Library. Vertical Files, Ryan.
Savannah Little researcher